“The this the culmination of two years of exploring the theme of spirituality in my artwork through references of European abstraction and African body painting, textiles, and cultural representations.
Much like aboriginal and indigenous shaman from different cultures around the world make objects we call art, to house and direct that spiritual essence. Modern artists can do the same thing with intent. I create works with the intent to house and reflect spirit. I feel finding your unique artistic voice is that vehicle.
At one point I called my art Neo African abstract expressionism, but as accurate as that is in describing what the art may look like, it falls short of its spiritual intent. Throughout my career I’ve been looking to capture the spiritual essence of making art, or the power of spirit within the lines and markings I put on canvas and paper. The abstract marks and flow of paint found in my artwork best reflects my connection to seeking and finding spirit. I honestly believe artists can be conduits of a universal spiritual force.”
– Danny Simmons
“For me, this series represents me painting for the sake of painting, I wanted to excavate the concept of Black joy. I am exploring abstraction, and the way that we encounter the painting surface. And reflecting on some of the early American landscape paintings of artists such as Robert S. Duncanson.” – Jamele Wright
Here you can see Jamele at play with himself and with scale. The construction of Flat Splat Just like that is a stripped down, minimal continuation of his fabric series, Jamele is creating and breaking his own pattern directly on the canvas. Using his desire to gather, he is reprocessing scrapes from past paintings and unused canvas.
FLAT SPLAT Just Like THAT is inspired by the movie The Wiz. The Wiz is the Motown reproduction of The Wizard of Oz, that reimagines Dorothy and her journey home from Oz as a young black schoolteacher. In this movie Dorothy is the product of the Great Migration. A Black Southern family that has taken refuge in the North From the first scene we see a Thanksgiving spread similar to that of Southern cooking. The gathering of family in the beginning shows the joy that comes from family, being together. After dinner she is then transported to another space, a magical place, a place that was Fantastically Black.
The production is black excellence on display: the cast, the music, the costumes are all the result of black creativity. The Wiz places this in the context of the Black American experience, and brings that to life with the cast, costuming, and music. That overwhelming BLACK joy on screen is reflected in the mythical landscapes in this body of work.